Washington: United States (US) President Joe Biden has imposed new travel restrictions on India in view of coronavirus spread, barring most non-U.S. citizens from entering the country.
According to White House, the new restrictions have been imposed as "the magnitude and scope of the Covid-19 pandemic in India was surging”.
The new restrictions will come into effect on Tuesday, May 4 at 12:01 am ET (0401 GMT).
Biden signed a declaration enforcing the restrictions that read, “India accounts for over one-third of new global cases" and added that "proactive measures are required to protect the nation's public health from travelers entering the United States" from India.
Other countries that have imposed travel restrictions on India include United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Singapore, Italy, Pakistan, Canada, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the international air travel in US remains down 60% from pre-coronavirus levels, while U.S. domestic air travel is down 40%.
India’s current Covid wave has taken on frightening proportions, driven in part by a new variant of the virus which has double mutations. Earlier this week, India overtook Brazil as the country with the second-highest number of cases in the world, behind the USA.
Experts are concerned that given the low testing rate, India possibly has higher number of cases than either US or Brazil. The country reported more than 300,000 new cases daily for nine days in a row, hitting another global record of 386,452 on Friday. Real numbers could be much higher, with crematoriums and graveyards both running out of space across the country.